In 17th-century Manhattan, the roguish Dutch council eagerly awaits the arrival of their new autocratic governor, Pieter 'Peg-Leg' Stuyvesant. Hoping to make a good impression, and in the awkward impression of having no one to hang on hanging day, they arbitrarily select an independent-minded young man for the unfortunate fate and we're off and running with a satirical fable pitting totalitarianism against democracy.
This first musical to use historical perspective to comment upon contemporary political matters leaves virtually no aspect of government unscathed, with some hilarious and knowing results. Washington Irving, himself stepping in and out of the narrative as the plot unfolds, manages an eleventh hour turn of events for an upbeat conclusion to the delight of all concerned.
"Weill's work is vibrantly refreshing, an intriguing mix of his familiar Berlin style with his first explorations of the American musical. A pleasure to hear the score in all its musical splendor."Variety
"Spirited, tuneful and pungent political satire, so skillfully embellished with pithy lines and lyrics and so handsomely melodized with a variegated musical score as to create the illusion of a completely new form in the theater . . . . An evening of sheer delight."Washington Post
"The astonishing thing about it is how topical it remains. Anderson's political kick gives Knickerbocker Holiday some topical tang; its enduring strength lies in Weill’s music."Toronto Star
"A beautiful score . . . and an air of refreshing fun-poking that most playgoers will associate with Gilbert and Sullivan . . . . A novel piece of quality craftsmanship . . . . One of the smoothest ribs of modern politics yet staged."Variety
"The Weill music, rolling out like a colorful carpet, makes the evening."New York Times
"A fascinating mixture of operetta choruses, peppy vaudeville turns, gorgeous Broadway ballads, and Germanic-flavored strains, all orchestrated brilliantly by the composer himself.... Persuasive evidence that Weill was and remains one of Broadway's most original, skilled, and artistically ambitious composers."Backstage
"Splendid choral writing and rich orchestrations . . . . Knickerbocker Holiday has one of the greatest songs in American musical theater history. Let's amend that and say one of the greatest songs ever written . . . 'September Song.'"Huffington Post
"The breezy score for Knickerbocker Holiday effervesces like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta."New York Times
"The satire, the irony, the sparkle and bite of [Anderson's] text contain an authority worthy of W.S. Gilbert. Admirably wedded to this libretto is Kurt Weill's graceful and original music, melodious and full of light-hearted zest."Boston Globe
"The beauty of 'September Song' and the quiet, warming way in which Mr. Huston tinkles out its wise and winning words are among the most delightful moments the Theater of all time has ever delivered. No entertainment in a blue theatrical moon has had such tantalizing tunes, for Mr. Weill's music is gay, stimulating and alive . . . [an] unforgettable score."Pittsburgh Post Gazette,
"Sophistication, wit and also heart . . . a beautiful score."New York Times
"Handsome and tuneful and eloquent. In 'September Song' and 'To Our Ancient Liberties,' Kurt Weill has written a couple of the best songs of the year."New Yorker
Shipped immediately. This is optional.
1 x Libretto
Shipped a minimum of 3 months before the last performance. This must be hired as a condition of the License to produce this show.
20 x Libretto
Shipped a minimum of 3 months before the last performance. This is optional.
1 x Piano Vocal Score